Nicolas Batum Signs With Clippers

10:08pm: The team officially announced the Batum signing in a press release and the Tucker signing in a separate release.

9:43pm: After clearing waivers following his release by the Hornets, veteran free agent forward Nicolas Batum will sign with the Clippers, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets.

Batum’s intention to sign with Los Angeles was initially reported by Charania after he was officially waived by Charlotte. The 31-year-old wing was a solid three-and-D contributor in his prime with the Trail Blazers and Hornets, but his production noticeably declined after he signed a five-year, $120MM extension with the Hornets in 2016.

Across his 12 NBA seasons, the 6’9″ swingman holds career averages of 11.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.8 APG, 0.9 APG, and 0.6 APG in 31.3 MPG. He is a career 35.7% shooter on 4.4 attempts a night from three-point land, and is shooting 84.1% from the charity stripe. Batum was a part-time player for the first time in his career in 2019/20, suiting up for just 22 games with the Hornets.

The Clippers are no doubt hoping Batum can conjure a semblance of this output in a fraction of the minutes for a championship contender led by star swingmen Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Batum is set to compete with fellow free agent wing Rayjon Tucker for reserve minutes, as Charania adds in a separate tweet that the Clippers will also sign Tucker. It’s an Exhibit 10 contract for Tucker, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

The 23-year-old shooting guard, who split his college eligibility between Florida Gulf Coast and Little Rock, went undrafted in 2019. He played for the Bucks’ G League affiliate, the Wisconsin Herd, to start the 2019/20 NBA season. He then signed on with the Jazz for the remainder of the season. Between stints with the Herd and Utah’s G League club, the Salt Lake City Stars, Tucker played 19 G League games.

Tucker averaged 23.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.9 SPG in the G League. He posted a slash line of .472/.361/.713. The 6’5″ wing was awarded December 2019’s G League Player of the Month honors, and netted an Eastern Conference Midseason All-NBA G League selection.

A defensive specialist at the next level, Tucker played 20 regular season games for the Jazz, averaging 8.1 MPG. Earlier this offseason, the Jazz traded Tucker to the Cavaliers, who subsequently waived him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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28 thoughts on “Nicolas Batum Signs With Clippers

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    He was never great on offense, but his defense is solid. Much better than Harrell’s.

    • Col. Sanders

      He ain’t that old. Wonder if he’s still got something left in the tank. Clipps gave him chance to prove.

    • Kowalski

      I was maybe asleep i did not see this when he was still playing pretty good…

  2. Sillivan

    Harrell defense is better than Batum
    Harrell B-
    Batum C+
    Wolves 3 rotation players C-
    Wolves 7 rotation players D

    • Sillivan

      Is strong,
      has 7’4 wing span
      works hard on defense
      uses his body wisely

      • Dxit90a

        Did you see Harrel play defense? He was crap. Batum is a better defender , passer, and space the floor better. Harrel is better in rebounding and energy .

        • Tatsumaki

          Dxit90a in playoffs yes but not in regular season. Largely overlooked especially in Vogel’s system he will be great

          • halos101

            he was a horrible defender all year lol. Doesn’t work hard one bit on defense so that’s hilarious as well…

        • Kowalski

          You got 5 likes, maybe, you were right about batum being a better defender…

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      “Harrell defense is better than Batum”. Classic Sillivan.

      • Curtisrowe

        Yeah it’s hard to fathom how anyone could think Harrell is a good defensive player. He couldn’t even get on the floor against the Nuggets because Jokic kept eating him.

        • El Don

          Jokic eats just about every player in the league, hence why he is the best center in the league, so it isn’t a shame to be destroyed by Jokic, actually all the opposite!

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      Harrell can’t shoot, rebound well, or defend very well. Look at his playoffs results. He was found out

      • Jason Lancaster

        Ya but he brings a lot of energy. Kind of reminds me of manimal, but with more offense. Definitely not a bad 3rd big in a 3 man rotation.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          Harrell and Faried are very much alike. It’s probably safe to assume that Montrezl will be out of the NBA in 4 or 5 years, if not sooner. I have no doubt the Lakers will regret signing him after their defense dramatically worsens this season.

          With Gasol turning 36 soon, and his level of play dropping greatly even when he’s healthy enough to be on the court, Harrell will have to play more minutes at center than his teammates. AD always prefers to play PF, and even though Harrell brings energy and scoring to the 2nd unit, his shortcomings on defense will offset whatever positives he brings to the team.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    He’s an efficient scorer. His FGe is good. His 3PT FG is decent too. His FT is solid. And yes he plays good D. He’s solid to have on bench. Considering they got him for nothing. It’s a good signing.

  4. Sillivan

    I would be a top 20 nba player if I have Harrell body
    About me
    Float like butterfly
    Passing like LaMelo Ball
    Shooting like Steph Curry

  5. Jason Lancaster

    All the casual experts will be blown away when Batum gives LA crucial minutes in the playoffs.

    Dude is a great multi-skilled player. If he can stay healthy, he can be a difference maker off the bench, and can start in a pinch.

    • Curtisrowe

      Batum is a good defender, a good rebounder for his size and a good passer. He just got the yips when it comes to his own offense.

      • buttholesurfer69 2

        Even if you want to discount last season bc of injuries, he’s been steadily declining in production the last four. There’s nothing casual about being skeptical of a guy with 4 straight seasons of decline going into his age 32 season

        He could have a bounce back year, sure – maybe it was the water in Charlotte. But it’s just as likely he’s out of the rotation come April-May.

        • Jason Lancaster

          Eh. His production has been trending downwards, but that’s normal. And it overlooks the fact his seasons are often interrupted with injuries.

          Put him in the floor 15 minutes a night against other bench players, with decent talent around him? Way different than being a starter in Charlotte.

          If he’s healthy, there’s every reason to think he’ll be a difference maker. But we’ll see. :)

  6. Meadowlark

    When he was in his mid 20’s Batum was Julius Erving once every 10 games. The other nine games he was Julius the haberdasher. Ah, what might have been if his engine had burner hotter.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Why must you throw shade on Julius the haberdasher? Smh guy earns a living

  7. Meadowlark

    Yes “Little” you’re keeerect. Old Juli earns his karats (carrots?). I’ll desist.

  8. DrSeuss69

    I loved that early 2010’s blazers team with Batum,Matthews,Aldridge,Lillard on, too bad they didnt get far

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